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The Okinawan Karate School in Illinois is affiliated with the Nishime Family of Dojos and the Ryukyu Bujutsu Kenkyu Doyukai (Ryukyu Ancient Weapons Research Organization).
The Okinawan Karate School is under the direction of Sensei Ken Valentine. Sensei Valentine began his training in karate in 1986 with Sensei Ken Hendrix, founder of the Okinawan Karate School in Millstadt, Ill. After more than 25 years of training, Sensei Valentine now holds the rank of 6th-degree black belt in Shorin-ryu Karate and Nidan or 2nd-degree black belt in Yamanni-Ryu Kobudo. Sensei Valentine has 18 years of instructional experience and has been head instructor at the Dojo since 1996. He continues to train under the great Okinawan Martial Artist, Master (Shihan) Kiyoshi Nishime.
Shihan Nishime is a 9th-degree black belt in both Shorin-ryu Karate and Yamani-ryu Kobudo. Master Nishime moved to the United States in the early 1970s to bring the ancient tradition of Okinawan Karate to American students and is now among the most highly regarded martial artists in the country. The traditional teachings and style of Shihan Nishime are taught to all students in classes at the Okinawan Karate School located in Belleville, Columbia and Waterloo.